Snake charmers, acrobatic performers and belly dancers are just some of the attractions in this Moroccan city. They might seem interesting in themselves but in Marrakech, everything is exotic. From the sites and sounds of the Old Medina to the food and souvenirs that can be bought along its many souks, the city that sits by the High Atlas Mountains in North Africa speaks of mysticism and magic at every turn. But you've got to explore and soak in it before you can experience the true wonder that is Marrakech.
The heart of Marrakech is Djemaa El Fna, the busiest square in Africa and perhaps the world. Located in the historic district of the city known as the Medina, it is best to see this square at night when it truly comes alive. Nearby, Koutoubia Mosque is worth a visit. A little farther away, on Rue Riad Zitoun Jdid, is the Dar Si Said Museum, which houses the arts and crafts of the different areas of Morocco. If you want to know how skins and hides are tanned, there are many tanneries in the city where you can observe and take pictures. If you want a more unique (and perhaps a bit creepy) experience, the Saadian Tombs, which have been preserved for hundreds of years, is worth a tour. After you've taken in the hustle and bustle of the city, go for reprieve at the Majorelle Gardens in Gueliz. The Gardens stands adjacent to the old fortified district and has tranquil ponds, flower beds and cacti of every conceivable variety. It also houses the Museum of Islamic Art. South of the city, you can also find the Agdal Garden which features pools, a lagoon, and pomegranate, olive, fig and citrus orchards.
Moroccan cuisine is a feast for the taste buds. Don't leave without sampling the special tajines, couscous and the ever-popular mint tea served in most of the restaurants in the area. Many eateries come alive at night in the Djemaa El Fna market square. In the mornings, you can try riifa or Moroccan pancake from any of the sellers opposite the Koutoubia Mosque. If you want more Western-style choices, the Gueliz has more eateries for you. Restaurants in hotels around Marrakech also serve good food but are far pricier.
The lively souks located north of the Djemaa El Fna epitomize shopping Moroccan style. Starting at the Souk Smarine, you can haggle your way through a plethora of merchandise. If you don't want to bargain, make your way to the government-owed Ensemble Artisanal at the Avenue Mohammed V, which has fixed prices for its goods, notably crafts.